“This is ruthless. Why does the municipality always wait for winter, when people are desperate?”
SOL PLAATJE Municipality has been accused of “robbing the poor” after its latest implementation of electricity blockages.
City residents were outraged and accused the municipality of having no regard for its customers under the current trying economic conditions and during wintertime.
The electricity blockages have been implemented amidst the possibility that residents might have to dig even deeper into their pockets due to a proposed power tariff hike.
A tariff increase of 8.56% was proposed for the 2021/22 financial year during a special council meeting held on March 30.
Sol Plaatje Municipality, however, remains mum on whether the tariff increase was approved and would be implemented on July 1, 2021.
“They are treating the poor like trash as they continue to fail to provide better services. This is ruthless. Why does the municipality always wait for winter, when people are desperate,” said one resident whose electricity was blocked.
Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said there is nothing unusual about the electricity blockages.
Matsie pointed out that all municipalities across the country continue to take action against defaulting customers.
“There have been calls over the past decades for people to pay for services, and they are also aware that our failure to pay services like Eskom will result in cuts. It’s nothing new and notices do go out to residents, as always. There is no policy that prevents such actions in winter,” said Matsie.
“Despite the limitations due to Covid, there have been community consultations.
“Similarly, in the future such actions will continue.”